Stefano Caselli (1978 -) is an Italian comic-book artist who’s been working for the Marvel editions since 2006. His first important job was the mini-series Civil War: Young Avengers/Runaways (2006). It has been followed by many drawings on Avengers related series such as Avengers: The Initiative (2007-2008) and Secret Warriors (2009-2010). He also drew many issues alongside with Humberto Ramos for The Amazing Spider-Man series (2011-2012). Furthermore, he was the main penciler for the event Spider-Island (2011). His two last series before Secret Wars were Avengers and Avengers World, both written by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Spencer.
Crystal, Medusa’s sister and therefore a princess of the Inhumans, is the main character of this all new Inhumans series. Ridding the wave of the new celebrity of the Inhumans, the Marvel editions have launched a new series featuring Crystal and the NuHumans. Some have been created for the previous Inhuman series (Charles Soule, Joe Madureira and Ryan Stegman) like Flint and Naja, some have been created for the purposes of the series like Swain and Ash Minnick. Speaking of whom, Ash Minnick has been captured by a bunch of extremists and put in a cage on Australia Square, in Sydney. Fortunately for her, Crystal appeared in a storm of water and fire and rescued her. Crystal hasn’t changed a lot through the years : her black and yellow suit is as iconic as Wolverine’s costume. Though her new short hair changes her a lot : she looks less girly and more like a fighter. It distinguishes her from her sister Medusa, whose very long hair is like her trademark. Crystal, as the main character and the best-known character of the series, first appears only on the seventh page and unleashes her fantastic powers. The page is cut into three panels : the first one is the larger one, the second a close-up on Crystal’ face, and the third a close-up on Crystal’s assaillants. If I’m very fond of Crystal’s grand entrance in front of these men, though I’m not so sure about Crystal’s left hand. It looks like a glove without a hand inside it, especially for the extremities.
Stefano Caselli‘s style express itself the best maybe with the emotions of its characters. Look at Flint or Naja’s face on the next page. At first, Flint is surprise to see his friend who’ve released Ash Minnick ; then he runs towards her, smilling, before hugging her with all his strengh. The reader doesn’t need the text to understand what Flint is feeling. The same applies for Naja : she’s surprised to see Flint running in her direction, then breathless under the strengh of his hug, before being a little annoyed by this mark of affection. We can undoubtelessy think that they didn’t see each other in a while – or this show of affection is totally incomprehensible. As for Ash Minnick, is face is still, it does not move. The young NuHuman doesn’t feel a thing anymore due to his transformation.
Following this battle, Crystal had no choice but to refer it to Medusa, her sister and the Queen of the Inhumans. In a double-page spread, Stefano Caselli depicted the interior of the Inhuman’s ship. It’s worthy of what can be expected from the Inhuman royal family : we can totally forget than we are aboard a ship. This interior reminds me of New Attilan’s – see Ryan Stegman – Inhuman. The throne room of New Attilan was very medieval, whereas this room – who appears to be Crystal’s appartmen in All New Inhuman #2 – is more up-to-date. The larger panel occupies the top half of the double-page, allowing Stefano Casseli to carefully designed every single details of the room : the books on the shelves, the patterns on the walls, its a very delicate job. On the opposite, the bottom half of this double page is a succession of little panels with close-ups on the characters. Crystal and Medusa seem to be arguing about what Crystal should have done to avoid the conflict with Ash Minnick’ jailers, while Gorgon stays quiet in his wheel-chair. As ruler of the Inhumans during these terrible moments, I understand Medusa’s position. But Crystal, who’s her sister nonetheless, needs all of her trust to act as expected. Their can’t be any discord between the two sisters, or the Inhumans’ credibility will suffer.
Hearing about what’s happening in Sin-Cong, Crystal’s team flies towards the little asian country to save the NuHuman. As the most known character, Crystal jumps first in the air, while the others are still aboard the ship. She looks more selfconfident, more confident about her own powers than she looked on the first page we saw, even if in both pages she’s drawn in a bottow view. The fact that she’s jumping strenghtens this feeling of power and self-confidence. She takes her role very seriously, as the absence of smile and the tight lips testify. In the middle ground, her allies seem as weel ready to defend themselves, to defend their own people against the humanity.
The last page I’d like to present you represents the dream Crystal and her teams are having, following their visit in Sin-Cong. Challenging what the Sin-Cong dictator told them, it appears that the army of the small dictatorship has killed some of their citizens because they were protecting a NuHuman – still in his/her cocoon. The second panel is the most shocking of this page. Taking the same composition and formatting back from the first panel, Stefano Caselli draw the extermination of the three people in the most striking way. Instead of their bodies, we only see their squeleton. Their murder was so fast that they didne’t even change their place or tried to protect themselves or one another. As the Sentinels kill the mutants, this robot seems to be a Inhuman killing machine.
If the Uncanny Inhuman of Charles Soule and Steve McNiven focus on Medusa and the Inhuman of New Attilan – and their future endangered because of Kang – All New Inhuman of Charles Soule and Stefano Caselli focus on Crystal and her field team. One team inside the house and the other in the outside remind me of the X-Men, for example with the regular team in the Charles Xavier School and the X-Treme team on the ground trying to collect Destiny’s journals. Despite their differences, the Inhumans and the X-Men/mutants are very alike : they both have powers because of their genome – powers which can oftenly affect the physical appearance of the inhuman/mutant – they both are feared by the humans, and they both have a leader – even if since Cyclop’s death the mutant are less unify than ever.
However I don’t understand how the terrigen cloud is still flying over the world like a regular cloud: it’s been eight months since the end of Secret Wars, and maybe a year since Black Bolt crashed New Attilan in the Hudson, releasing the T-mist in the atmosphere. How can a cloud travels for eight month around the world? It’s an explanation I hope we’ll have on the next issues of All New Inhumans.